Thursday, January 13, 2011

the sensei's gyoza

I worked in three Japanese schools, rotating between them each week, for three years in Japan before we had our kiddiewinks. I gleaned a lot of insight into Japanese culture that way and some of my favorite memories include eating the school lunches every day (yum!) and discussing food with some of the other teachers.

One sensei gave me her family's recipe for making gyoza, or potstickers as they're called in the West (this is a typical Japanese version of an originally Chinese classic). I can buy them frozen here in Seattle at Asian markets, and they're OK for a gyoza-craving emergency, but I'd rather make them myself and not have to deal with the MSG. They're not hard to create and boy, are these babies absolutely amazing in the taste department.

You'll need:

  • gyoza skins (available in many supermarkets' produce sections near the tofu)
  • 100 g (1/4 pound) ground pork
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • "1 spoonful" (I used 1 tablespoon) each chopped green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, grated ginger, chopped cabbage (I used a coleslaw mix that had green cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrots and just chopped it fine), and nira (garlic chives, which I didn't have)
  • a bit of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)--my own addition as I found the meat mixture a bit liquidy
Do this:

Mix the meat and other ingredients together and put a spoonful on the bottom half of each gyoza skin. Use a bit of water on your finger to wet the edge of the top half of the gyoza skin, then fold over and pinch together.

Fry in some oil till browned then add 100 g water to the pan to finish them off with some steaming.

Enjoy with a mixture of soy sauce and a few drops of rayu (Chinese hot chili oil, which I found at my local QFC grocery store in their Asian section). You probably won't have to make any other dishes as you will want to gobble these gyoza all up with a bowl of Japanese sticky rice, but save room in that tummy of yours because I have four more Japanese dishes to serve up for you...


K and S said...

love love gyoza!

Kim said...

You are a better woman than I! Ryu raved over the Grocery Outlet Pork gyoza's so much that...I will probably NEVER make the real thing!!! But hope to eat yours with you in Seattle someday!!!

Unknown said...

They look very similar to Polish pierogi :)